Volume 47, Number 7 - November 16, 2009


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Michael Finch
Michael Finch II


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Mexican Red Cross and MDC unite

By Michael Finch

Picture of Mexican Red Cross
Mexican Red Cross logo.

As the provider of emergency medical services to a nation of almost 20 million, the Cruz Roja Mexicana or Mexican Red Cross will soon upgrade its’ skill set with the help of Miami Dade College’s Medical Center Campus.

On Nov. 2, MDC President Eduardo J. Padrón signed a cooperative agreement between the college and the Mexican Red Cross to initialize the training for emergency medical service workers in Mexico.

The program, slated to start in February of 2010, began when two workers from the Mexican Red Cross- Ivan Villarreal Hurtado and Leonardo Aceves Rivero- visited the bookstore at the Medical Center Campus, according to Dr. Anita S. Kaplan, Medical Center Campus President. The two men were in search of information on MDC’s EMS program.

From the library the two men were forwarded to Richard Prentiss, chairperson for Emergency Medical Services at the Medical Center Campus, and the partnership was born.

“The department is developing and implementing training programs for EMT’s and paramedics in the country of Mexico that will be reflective of the training requirements found in Florida,” Prentiss said. “As long as the Mexican Red Cross has a need for Miami Dade College to provide guidance and support for their EMS training needs, we will continue the partnership.”

The Mexican Red Cross  will use the same textbook MDC students use; it will be translated into Spanish, Kaplan said.

“They are seeing through simulation they can actually get hands-on experience and how to better evaluate a students’ progress,” Kaplan said. “They really want to parallel the program at MDC.”

Kaplan said that given that the 50 volunteers of the MRC provide emergency health services to the entire nation of Mexico “the potential is going to be astronomical.”

The Mexican Red Cross received the 2009 International Humanitarian Service Award for working with the American Red Cross to service Spanish speaking victims in the United States.


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